More Than We Can Handle

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.

2 Corinthians 1:8-9


There’s a popular saying in Christian circles that goes something like this, “God will never give you more than you can handle.” That idea didn’t apply to the Apostle Paul it seems. Note what he said above. He was “burdened beyond [his] strength” so that he was even to the point of being worried for his very life. I call that more than he could handle.

Before you give in to similar despair, read again what the Apostle wrote. This low point was by God’s design. What was that design? It was to make him rely on God and not himself. He was placed in a situation where he had nowhere to turn but to the Lord. You may be there right now. God has you right where He wants you so that you will cry out to Him in total dependency.

I love what gave Paul confidence that while life was more that he could handle, it was not more than God could handle. Paul’s reflection on the resurrection was his hope and confidence. The God who raises the dead is a God in whom the Apostle Paul can have confidence when life is at its most overwhelming. The risen Jesus gives us hope in times of darkness and despair.

I’m thinking I know what passage of Scripture I may preach this Easter Sunday!